Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins suspended for first six games of 2022 season
Cardinals star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended for the first six games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL's Performance Enhancing Drug Policy.
The Cardinals released a statement by an NFL spokesperson confirming the suspension. It stated that Hopkins will be suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2022 season for the violation. Hopkins is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games and will be allowed to return to the Cardinals' active roster following the team's sixth regular-season game.
Hopkins will not appeal the suspension.
Later on Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that he received a text message from Hopkins’ brand manager, Doug Sanders, who said the suspension was the result of a November drug test that came back with traces of a banned substance.
Hopkins later went to Twitter to post a similar explanation.
"In my 10-year career, I have never tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs," he wrote. "To learn that my November test came back with trace elements of a banned substance, I was confused and shocked.
"I am very mindful of what I put in my body and have always taken a holistic approach, so I am working with my team to investigate how this could've happened. But even as careful as I have been, clearly I wasn’t careful enough. For that, I apologize to Cardinals fans, my teammates, and the entire Cardinals organization. I never want to let my team down. I fully intend to get to the bottom of this. As soon as I have more information, I will share it.”
"DeAndre and everyone who works with him is completed shocked by this finding because he is extremely diligent about what he puts in his body," Sanders told Schefter. "His October and December tests were negative and we are investigating how the November test came back positive. DeAndre is committed to demonstrating that he did not knowingly take a banned substance. He has never once tested positive throughout his 10-year career. We’re currently testing every product he used to figure out how this could have happened and will release any new information as soon as we have it.”
A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time, first-team All-Pro, Hopkins, 29, missed seven games last season with hamstring and knee issues but still led the Cardinals with eight receiving touchdowns.
In nine NFL seasons, including the past two in Arizona, Hopkins has 789 receptions for 1,285 yards and 68 touchdowns.
The Cardinals lost wide receiver Christian Kirk to free agency this offseason, although they did bring in a new No. 2 wideout by trading for Baltimore's Marquise "Hollywood" Brown on Thursday in exchange for a first-round draft pick.
Arizona also has A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, and Antoine Wesley on its roster, but Hopkins is far and away the team's best receiver. The Cardinals lost four of the seven games in which he didn't play last season, including a 34-11 rout at the hands of the Rams in an NFC Wild Card game.
Limited to 10 games in 2021, Hopkins finished with career lows in receptions (42) and receiving yards (572).
He was acquired in March 2020 in a trade from the Texans. The Cardinals received Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in exchange for running back David Johnson, a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick. In two seasons with Arizona, he has 157 catches for 1,979 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Cardinals re-signed safety Charles Washington, a reserve player and key member of the special team units, to a one-year contract. Washington, 29, spent the past three seasons with Arizona after joining the team off waivers from the Lions. He has 22 tackles in 34 games for the Cardinals, including a career-high 13 tackles on special teams and a forced fumble in 15 games in 2020.
Washington missed most of last season with a hamstring injury. He is one of six returning safeties on the team, joining starters Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson, Deionte Thompson, James Wiggins and Javon Hagan.
Have an opinion on the Arizona Cardinals? Reach McManaman at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac. Listen to him live on Fox Sports 910-AM every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 on Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch.
News and information you can trust. Start your online subscription.